Buyer fi­nance com­mit­ments a concern

The Riverine Herald - Local Real Estate - - LOCALREALESTATE.COM.AU -

Aus­tralian Bu­reau of Sta­tis­tics (ABS) hous­ing fi­nance fig­ures for De­cem­ber 2010 show, in trend terms, a slight in­crease in the num­ber of fi­nance com­mit­ments for owner-oc­cu­pied homes. The in­crease was 1.6 per cent — the sev­enth con­sec­u­tive month to show a mod­est up­turn. ‘‘In trend terms, in­creases were recorded in all states and ter­ri­to­ries, ex­cept the North­ern Ter­ri­tory where com­mit­ments de­clined,’’ Real Es­tate In­sti­tute of Aus­tralia pres­i­dent David Airey said. ‘‘In­creases were ev­i­dent for the pur­chase of es­tab­lished dwellings (1.2 per cent in trend terms), the pur­chase of new dwellings (1.0 per cent in trend terms) and con­struc­tion of dwellings (1.4 per cent in trend terms).’’ The num­ber of first-home buy­ers, as a per­cent­age of to­tal owner-oc­cu­pied hous­ing com­mit­ments, in­creased from 15.6 per cent in Novem­ber to 15.8 per cent in De­cem­ber — still well be­low the lon­grun na­tional av­er­age of 20.1 per cent and dra­mat­i­cally down from the 27.1 per cent level a lit­tle more than a year ago. In trend terms, the value of in­vest­ment hous­ing com­mit­ments showed a slight in­crease of 0.5 per cent fol­low­ing a rise of 0.1 per cent in Novem­ber and falls in the pre­vi­ous five months. ‘‘We are see­ing the cu­mu­la­tive ef­fect of seven in­creases in of­fi­cial rates be­tween Oc­to­ber 2009 and Novem­ber 2010,’’ he said. ‘‘The con­tin­u­ing low lev­els of fi­nance com­mit­ments to first home buy­ers is a concern. First home­buy­ers have been hard­est hit by the ef­fect of in­ter­est rate rises.’’

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